Conceived as a first foray into Australia for a natural cosmetics company from Greece, this retail design translates the brand’s heritage and values for maximum appeal in the contemporary local context.

Inspired by the holis­tic approach to heal­ing espoused by the Father of Med­i­cine, Hip­pocrates, and with a strong empha­sis on nat­u­ral­ly derived active ingre­di­ents, the Apivi­ta brand pro­vides fer­tile ground for sto­ry­telling through design.

The space is imbued with the Greek ide­al of filox­e­nia” – a spir­it of gen­eros­i­ty and hos­pi­tal­i­ty – with mate­ri­als and forms ref­er­enc­ing tra­di­tion­al pot­tery, the use of indige­nous Greek plants and herbs, and most promi­nent­ly, bee­keep­ing and honey.

In for­mu­lat­ing an inte­ri­or palette, we looked to the colours and tex­tures of olive and cit­rus groves — with their woody branch­es and rich, ever­green leaves — and to the undu­lat­ing, rocky land­scapes of white and blue stone. Fur­ther inspi­ra­tion was drawn from the bell-shaped ter­ra­cot­ta bee­hives of ancient Greece and to the lus­trous warmth of hon­ey­comb and honey.

The bee­hives, hon­ey­comb and hon­ey also inspired a series of organ­ic archi­tec­tur­al and inte­ri­or design fea­tures, draw­ing an explic­it con­nec­tion between the store and its prod­uct offering. 

Brass serv­ing coun­ters fea­ture inset dis­play ves­sels that glis­ten like large drops of hon­ey. On the floor, an inlaid strip of brass guides cus­tomers on a wind­ing cir­cuit through the store, in a stylised rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the way that bees share nav­i­ga­tion­al infor­ma­tion, known as the wag­gle dance”. Above, a waf­fle ceil­ing craft­ed from tim­ber gives the impres­sion of giant honeycomb.

Cus­tomers are wel­comed at a ter­ra­cot­ta hos­pi­tal­i­ty table with Greek moun­tain tea served with hon­ey, where they can expe­ri­ence the prod­ucts first­hand. It has an organ­ic form with the base influ­enced by ancient beehives. 

The idea of hos­pi­tal­i­ty is well estab­lished in Apivita’s over­seas stores and is key to the brand’s iden­ti­ty. As part of the per­son­alised ser­vice, cus­tomers can con­sult a nat­ur­al phar­ma­cist about spe­cif­ic health issues, and have base prod­uct tai­lored with appro­pri­ate nat­ur­al additives. 

Glass in this sec­tion of the inte­ri­or is print­ed with images of Greek groves and orchards. This again rein­forces the con­nec­tion between the brand and nat­ur­al ingre­di­ents, while adding a lush green back­drop to the space.

The expe­ri­ence of vis­it­ing this retail store is to be wel­comed into Apivita’s world, to be enchant­ed by the rus­tic charm of the Greek coun­try­side, but in a very con­tem­po­rary set­ting, and to seek well­be­ing informed by cen­turies of Greek tradition. 


Visu­al­i­sa­tion: Con­crete Robot